Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Survival

The holidays can be stressful for many reasons. You're wrapping up things at work or school in time for the break, worrying about what to get everyone, and then the most challenging aspect: family. Let's face it, depending on how close you are to your family, having the annual Christmas family get-together can be boring, uncomfortable, and near the last thing you'd like to be doing during your time off. Today I'm sharing my tips for surviving those Christmas gatherings with the family.
For me personally, I have one side of the family that I adore spending time with and another that just doesn't have the same appeal. I generally feel out of place just because I'm very different from most of them in general, making it hard to relate very well. This makes one hardship for us communication since there aren't many subjects we can really agree on. In the entirety of the fourteen years I've lived with them, I can safely say that I've perfected the art of small talk. Honestly, I hate small talk, but sometimes it makes things easier if there are a few broad topics you can bring up during an awkward silence. You don't necessarily have to love it, but making an effort makes it a lot more bearable. 

Another thing that can work in an awkward situation is the classic fake text message. Everybody hates being asked about their private life in the middle of a family gathering, but it seems like grandparents can never get the memo that you're not wanting to chat. I can't tell you how often I've acted like there was a message I just had to get to when I was really scrolling through my Twitter feed acting busy. After a few seconds, the family member that had put you on the spot will have focused their attention on something else. 

But sometimes things just don't want to work themselves out perfectly, and you continue to have family members harass you about your personal life. I read an article over at HerCampus a few days ago about surviving holiday parties that had some awesome tips for dealing with these situations (read the article here). Some of my favorites from this acticle include changing the subject by asking family members questions about themselves, staying positive, and going into the situation with an open mind. Keeping an open mind allows you to look at the situation through their perspective and provide better answers that are more likely to satisfy their curiosities.

Lastly, I would like to encourage you all to make the best out of a bad situation. Family gatherings can't be avoided, and attempting to have a good time will make the whole situation a whole lot easier. 

What strategies do you have for dealing with uncomfortable moments with family during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!

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